As Boston Avenue Grille & Catering approached its 10th anniversary this year in First Place Tower, property managers of other downtown buildings reached out to the owners to see if they might be interested in relocating.
“We’ve been offered space in other buildings that may have been larger or more visible, but this is our place,” said Licia Sorrentino, who owns the restaurant with Pauly Sorrentino and Shelly Brown.
“This is our home, our building,” Brown added. “We’re comfortable here.”
Pauly Sorrentino said the restaurant just signed another 10-year lease with Price Family Properties.
“We’re not going anywhere,” he said.
Fans of the breakfast-lunch spot at Fourth Street and Boston Avenue will be glad to hear it figures to be around for another decade, at least.
Those who never have been to Boston Avenue Grille during the peak lunch hour might be a tad intimidated at first. The line to the order counter might appear impossibly long, but it moves with the precision of a Swiss watch, or close enough to get one through the line in due time.
Before placing their orders, customers look over the menus posted on the walls behind the counter. A short wait is favorable here for those who have trouble deciding on what they want.
The menu is separated into sections — breakfast, soup and salads, From the Border, sandwiches and seasonal. Breakfast is available from 7-10:30 a.m., and lunch is 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
On a recent lunch visit, we selected items from the seasonal menu, though it always is difficult to pass on the Reuben sandwich, signature burrito, hot pastrami sandwich, chicken salad sandwich, chicken tacos and Cuban sandwich.
We chose two dishes we have not had before from the six-item seasonal menu — Southern cobb salad ($7.60) and the barbecue meatloaf sandwich ($7.60).
The salad included crispy mixed greens, a good amount of bacon bits, tomato, a little hard-boiled egg, avocado slices, grilled chicken and cheddar and jack cheeses with a tasty buttermilk ranch dressing. It was a substantial salad with a lot of flavor.
Of some note, the avocado was one of the best, if not the best, we’ve had all summer. The ripeness was at that perfect point for ultimate texture and flavor.
The sandwich was sensational. It had two slices of meatloaf dressed with barbecue sauce, strips of bacon, caramelized onions and pepper jack cheese on a toasted brioche bun. It was messy, too, at least in my hands. I kept going back for more napkins.
Most sandwiches come with a choice of chips and salsa, chips or baked potato salad.
The restaurant also has daily specials. Chicken enchilada Wednesdays is a mainstay, and expect to see chili on Fridays in the winter.
We topped off our lunch with a soft white chocolate macadamia nut cookie (92 cents). It was a muscle-twitch decision and worth it.
It hasn’t always been rosy for Boston Avenue Grille. The economic downturn within a year after it opened hurt a bit, and Cimerex Energy Co. moving hundreds of employees from First Place Tower to another building in 2013 was a blow.
“Price Family Properties has done a good job getting new businesses into the building, and now, we have an established customer base,” Licia said. “We have some customers who just say, ‘Give me the regular,’ and we have conversations, usually about family, kids, grandkids, that can go on for days.”
The restaurant offers delivery service as far away as Broken Arrow and Sand Springs and caters a variety of specials events, such as weddings.
Most items are served in paper-lined baskets. The paper linings have the logos of restaurants affiliated with Boston Avenue Grille, including R Bar & Grill, Old School Bagel Cafe, Prairie Brewpub and Roosevelt’s.
Licia and Shelly met while in college working summers at Southern Hills Country Club. Shelly went to culinary school, and Licia studied restaurant management.
The address is on Fifth Street, but the main entrance is on Boston Avenue. It sits back off the sidewalk, so a neon sign in the window is easy to miss.